Money laundering watchdog says Qatar needs major improvements.

A global watchdog for money laundering and terrorist financing has stated that Qatar needs to make significant improvements in its response to terrorist financing.

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has accused Qatar of lacking enough controls and needing to better understand the more complex forms of money laundering and terrorist financing. This was stated in a report released by the watchdog on Wednesday.

The report summarises the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures taken by Qatar during an on-site visit that took place from June 19 to July 7, 2022.

The FATF stated that Qatar has a good overall understanding of money laundering and terrorism risks at the national level.

However, the watchdog also said that further work is necessary to ensure that law enforcement and supervisors are implementing reforms, particularly in relation to Qatar’s judicial system.

The report also stated that Qatar is investigating more money laundering cases, but the total number of cases prosecuted remains low overall.

“Authorities are investigating a range of ML [money laundering] offences; however, case studies suggest that authorities can continue improving their investigations to identify the role Qatar may play in broader, complex or professional ML schemes and networks. Nevertheless, authorities are well-equipped and aware of the current ML risks and are continually improving their abilities to pursue ML.”

FATF taking the lead

Raja Kumar, the president of the FATF, has called on the G-7 to put an end to “lawless spaces” and to take the lead in regulating cryptocurrencies. Kumar urged finance ministers from some of the world’s most influential economies to implement recommendations from the FATF, including going after money laundering and terrorism financing.

The FATF president also said that this includes implementing the travel rule, which requires crypto service providers to share certain information about transactions to prevent misuse by criminals and terrorists.

“G7 countries should lead by example and regulate the crypto sector so that no virtual safe havens exist for illicit financial transactions,” Kumar said in a post published on Twitter.

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